I was discussing life with a producer friend of mine recently, and the subject rolled around to acting. We have it in common. In fact that's how we met 14 years ago when we were both cast in a play. He didn't mean to stop either.
I don't think either one of us is comfortable saying we "stopped" doing anything. We simply started doing other things.
Painting, something I'd dabbled in throughout my life, became my obsession.
I loved creating with my hands, to make art that didn't exist before, and couldn't unless I made it. I felt like I was contributing something more important than just "my type" or "my look." I'm not responsible for what I look like, nor am I responsible for the script I might be reading. To create art, in my mind, required something more. Something from nothing. Something beautiful that I can take full credit for, something that requires my own mind.
A great performance is a rare and wonderful thing, but it's always a group effort. I do miss it. I adore the process of reading a script, highlighting my part, memorizing my lines, rehearsing rehearsing rehearsing. I love that thrill of being on stage with others and having to react and account for whatever someone else chooses to do in any given moment. It's hard. It's great.
But, I needed to know that I was capable of something else, that I was doing more than just standing in a long line of pretty girls. When people look at my paintings, they're not looking at me. They're looking at what I made. What I think.
Perhaps I was trying to prove something by my art. Maybe I still am.
Either way, I'm ready to come out now. I might define myself as a painter at this point, but I'm actually lots of things. There are many facets of my life that influence my paintings, and I think I'm ready to show them. I've been finding myself in the last decade, and I've discovered that I'm an artist.